Busted Axle Road
CopyrightÂ© 1993, 2001, 2010
Danny and the two girls got out of the Appliance Center pickup in front of Josh's house. They'd timed it well; Josh had just gotten back from a run to Camden. It had been a way freight, with his dad, and there'd been a lot of switching both ways. Even so, it was too late in the evening for much swimming. The four of them piled into the Chevette, and Amy gave Josh a little peck.
"Anybody got any ideas for this evening?" Josh asked. "I mean, I've already eaten, but we could make an Albany River run."
"We've eaten," Amy said. "Besides, some kids from the club are going down roller skating, so I don't think we want to run the risk of getting caught at the burger joint."
"I suppose we could go see if we could dream up something to do with the sword cabinet," Danny said. "But that doesn't interest me, much."
"Me, either," Josh said. "We could go roller skating, or we could put that off for Saturday. Tomorrow's out. I've got to do a night run."
"Saturday night's out," Danny said. "Sis is going to give a show at the club, and I've got to run the sound system."
"I know your mother doesn't think much of your coming out to the club," Amy said. "But you really ought to think about sneaking out for that. The place will be mobbed, and maybe no one will notice you. It'll be dark, after all, and she really puts on a show."
"Jeez, I'd like to," Josh said. "It's darn tempting." It was even more tempting to consider the thought of seeing Amy bareassed, but somehow, that didn't seem as important as it once did. He was surprised at the realization. "I'll have to think about it."
"Well, anybody got any ideas about tonight?" Marsha asked.
Josh looked out the car window. The sky was clear, and there was a nearly full moon hanging in the sky. He thought about how nice it would be to go out someplace, put his arm around Amy, and look at the moon, and...
He shook off the thought. Not with Danny and Marsha in the back seat, anyway, but the residue of the thought left him with an idea. He started the car. "You think of something?" Amy said.
"Yeah," Josh replied. "Let's go out to my sister's house. Maybe we can get my brother-in-law to turn his telescope on the moon."
"That's a great idea," Danny said. "I don't know why we haven't thought of that before." He turned to Marsha, but said loud enough for Amy to hear, "His brother-in-law has got this great big telescope, in his own observatory. It's real neat."
"Well, I suppose it beats playing cards," Marsha said, not too thrilled.
"Maybe he'll be out with his dogs, too," Josh said. "That might be kind of interesting."
"What's this about dogs?" Danny asked.
Josh smiled. He'd heard about the dogs, but he hadn't seen them, yet. He'd been too busy. "He and Mike McMahon are training a dog sled team," Josh said. "They're really looking forward to winter, for once."
It only took a few minutes to drive out to Mark and Jackie's farm, even though they had to go very slowly for the last mile, thanks to the rutted, potholed road. Just as they were about to turn in the driveway, they met Jackie and Cumulus in the pickup truck coming the other way, towing the sailplane trailer. "What brings you guys out here?" Jackie asked.
"We thought maybe we could get you or Mark to turn the telescope on the moon for us," Josh said.
"Can't for a while," Jackie told him. "Mark landed out over by Warsaw. I didn't think there was time enough to get a Warsaw run in, but the lift was real strong, and he took off from work early, so he thought he'd risk it."
"Anything we can do to help?" Josh asked.
"Not really a heck of a lot," Jackie told him. "You want to tag along for the ride, you can, but a couple of you will have to ride in the back."
"What happened?" Amy asked. Josh explained for a minute about the sailplane, and that Jackie was going to have to go bring it back on the trailer.
"Well, what the heck, it would be something to do," Marsha said, "But I'm not real crazy about riding to Warsaw and back in the back of a pickup."
"Me either," Amy said. "It would take me a month to comb my hair back out."
"We can tag along behind in the car," Josh suggested."
"Fine with me," Danny said.
Josh told Jackie they'd follow along, and turned around as Jackie headed toward the highway. In the back seat, Marsha scooted over to snuggle close to Danny, who put his arm around her. Josh looked in the rear view mirror, and wondered for a moment what was going on between the two out at the club. There had been hints from Amy that more was going on than he'd heard about. The summer was racing by, and he'd had a lot of fun with Amy, but he hadn't been getting as close to her as Danny was getting to Marsha. With the three of them spending a lot of time at the club, where Danny was essentially living for the summer, Josh still often felt like the outsider of the group.
"Have you thought any more about going to Athens?" Marsha asked, trying to make conversation.
"I don't know," Danny said. "I talked to Brandy when she was home. She said she'd talk to the people up at Tech for me this fall, and see if there's any possibility of maybe a half ride for football. I really doubt it, though. I don't think I'm good enough for an athletic scholarship, even at Michigan Tech with Brandy's pulling for me. I know if I'm not good enough for Michigan Tech, I won't be good enough for Athens."
"It would be nice to have you down there with me," Marsha said. "I mean, Amy and I already know we're going there. Daddy wouldn't have it any other way."
"Athens would be nice," Danny conceded. "And, if football isn't involved, I suppose that doesn't matter. But Athens is awful steep. Jennifer sort of hinted that she'd help out if I asked, but I really don't want to ask her if I don't have to."
"How about you, Josh?" Amy asked, taking the hint from Marsha, and sliding closer to him. "Have you given any thought to going to Athens?"